A Tiger pause

By Neil Connolly, in Sport, Golf · 05-03-2021 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

After mounting a kerb and losing control of the SUV, the 4x4 then hit a tree and tumbled its way down the embankment, where it came to rest on it’s side.

Onlookers say that the driver was lucky to be alive. And the rest of the golfing world wondered what on earth Tiger had done this time. The majority hoping that there was not a scandal to follow.

There is some speculation that he probably fell asleep at the wheel, due to the lack of speed the vehicle was carrying and the absence of tyre marks on the road surface. Unsurprising if he had fallen asleep at the wheel since he appears to still have a full diary despite going through his fifth back operation in the last few weeks.

The golfing public were just getting used to the idea that Tiger may not be playing in the Masters next month, ever hopeful that he was going to add another Major to his tally. On hearing the news of the damage to his right leg, the question is more like, ‘will he ever play competitive golf again?’ If ever there’s been a golfer that can rehab and recoup, it is Tiger - but time will only tell.

All of this news happened whilst players across the world were arriving at the venue to play on whichever tour they are a member. Suitcase obviously packed, outfits for the tournament taken care of, so when the idea of the players wearing the traditional black and red on Sunday, in honour and support of Tiger, that left some players with a slight logistical headache.

For example, everybody that has a Nike contract had plenty of red and black options for Sunday, but those guys and girls who are outfitted by other manufacturers struggled a little. Collin Morikawa, who is sponsored by adidas, couldn’t get a red shirt in time. At age 23, he won the tournament by three shots and in his acceptance speech used words far beyond his age, and I’m sure the rest of the golfing world overlooked immediately the fact that he was wearing a grey shirt. His words were, “Tiger means everything to me, and I don’t think we say thank you enough, so I want to say thank you to Tiger, because sometimes we lose people too early. Thankfully he’s recovering.”

But then you have to leave it to Phil Mickelson, a long-time friend and huge rival of Tiger, to get a little bit further than anybody else would have imagined. Being an Arizona State alumni and playing in the hometown of Arizona University, he found himself in a two fold dilemma. A little bit of context might be needed here; Arizona State will play in maroon and gold and Arizona University will play in Cardinal red and navy. The two Arizona universities while coming from the same state, are in fact mortal enemies when it comes to sports.

The second part of the dilemma is that Phil has never wanted to be mistaken for Tiger, so the red of Tiger has always been Tiger’s colour. Yet Phil did the right thing and went and bought a Cardinal red shirt, covered the logo, and went and played Sunday adhering to the world’s message of support to Tiger.

I can only imagine what the hometown supporters in Tucson were chanting towards Phil as he walked up and down the fairways; it may actually have had something to do with Phil not winning his fourth consecutive Champions tour event which would have made it four out of four.

It could be said too, that this weekend heralded the newcomers while paying proper respect to the old guard, with Tiger in hospital and Phil now playing on the Champions Tour. Certainly, when you take into account that the winner and second place in the World Golf Championship are only twenty-three years of age - the future is now.



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